October 15, 2021 | OPINION | By Karly Hamilton | Illustration by Kira Schulist

Finding your voice in a new place is always hard. Whether it be a workplace, school, a social group, or something else, it usually takes a few minutes to find where you fit best in a new environment. Some changes are bigger than others and require more time to determine where you fit in — such as starting college.

New people, new buildings, new state. For many students, college is a blank slate with an entirely fresh start. While it certainly has its pros, it also means taking the time to determine how much of your voice you want to share with the community and in what manner. For me, that is writing for The Catalyst. 

Writing has always given me a sense of control over how I present myself to the communities I am a part of. By bringing attention to important happenings in the community or sharing my thoughts on topics that are important to me, I feel like I am learning more about the role I want to fill in my environment while also educating those around me. 

College is seen as a transition time in many ways, one of which is fleshing out one’s opinions. Being in a new space, apart from close friends and family members, can force people to see the world in a different light. It is the perfect time to explore a variety of interests and thought processes, but it can be hard to know how much of that to share with the world around us. 

Determining how much to share with the people around us can be a tough distinction to make, especially when starting over in a new place. Now is the time to figure out if what we would have shared about ourselves in high school is the same in college, or if our values have already started to shift. 

Through discussion-based classes and a liberal arts curriculum, Colorado College is set up to help us find our voices on campus. I have found hearing what my classmates have to say in response to discussion questions incredibly impactful in determining my own thoughts because it forces me to think about situations from a variety of new perspectives. 

This is the time to explore different perspectives and new ways of expressing yourself, and the best way to do so is by trying new things. Whether it be approaching a situation from a different perspective than normal, joining a new club, or pushing yourself to do something that scares you, each experience can help you see the world in a different light. At least, that’s been my experience. 

Finding your voice doesn’t necessarily mean choosing to share it, just knowing where you stand. I love journalism because it allows me to think out loud in a way I don’t always get to in class. That, and I get to use a bit more creativity in how I approach my writing on a day-to-day basis. 

Music, theater, art, cooking, athletics, and so much more can help us find what we are passionate about in life. More importantly, these things can help us determine who we are and how we want to interact with others. 

While it might take time to determine how you want your voice to be perceived here at CC, putting in the time to learn more about yourself can lead to positive outcomes. Adjusting to college has its high and low moments, but at the end of the day, the path we take to finding ourselves is just as important as where we end up. 

So, join that club you’ve been thinking about, write an article about something important to you, and speak up when you have something to contribute. I, for one, am excited to hear what you have to say. 

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